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Guitar Amp Icon Jim Marshall Dies at 88

Jim Marshall, founder of Marshall Amplification, has died from cancer. He was 88.

Marshall, a drummer and drum teacher, opened a music store in West London in 1960. By talking with his customers, who included Ritchie Blackmore and Pete Townshend, Marshall realized there was a gap in the market for a guitar amp that was cheaper than the American-made models popular at the time.

In the early '60s, he created the Marshall JTM 45 guitar amp. His amps have been played by such artists as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Slash and Eddie Van Halen.

"Jim was a musical innovator for 50 years, building a business and reputation that was highly respected by our industry," said Korg President Joe Castronovo. "Although he will be greatly missed and the music world will never be the same, Jim's countless contributions to the sound of rock will continue to influence generations to come."

"I send my deepest regards to the family of Jim Marshall," said Hartley Peavey, founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics. "He was an original, and the music industry will surely miss him."

"Jim's passing was sad news indeed," said Frank Alkyer, publisher of Music Inc. magazine. "He was a rock star, the frontman of guitar amplification. He didn't actually engineer the amps that bore his name, but he keenly figured out the sound guitarists wanted, then packaged and delivered that sound. He was a gentleman, an entrepreneur, the Pied Piper of Marshall Amplification. It was amazing to see Jim at the NAMM shows, signing T-shirts for legions of fans who lined up around the booth — folks who just wanted to shake his hand, get a photo and thank him for creating Marshall. We've lost one of the industry's biggest and brightest stars."